A Trip to Millford

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Millford Plantation Facade

A couple weeks ago in this post,  I promised you all a post on Millford Plantation, and somehow it fell by the wayside. My apologies. Built between 1839-1841, Millford Plantation in Pinewood, South Carolina was the home of John Laurence Manning and Susan Frances Hampton. Both prominent South Carolinians, Susan was the daughter of General Wade Hampton and John was the son of South Carolina’s Governor (a position he later had himself), this project was started when the two were newly married and only twenty-two years old.

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Millford Plantation Rear Loggia

Millford Plantation is considered one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country. Designed by Rhode Island architect Nathaniel Potter, a student of the famed German architect Karl Friedrich Reichardt, and built with money that Susan inherited from her recently deceased wealthy father, the house was sometimes’s referred to as Manning’s Folly. It was perhaps a bit strange that such a young couple would build such a large and impressive house.

Milford Porters Shed
Millford Plantation Porter’s Lodge
Milford Pool
Millford Plantation Swimming Pool


Milford Belltower
Millford Plantation Original Belltower & Little Mansion

The house has only had three owners. After the death of Governor Manning in 1902, the house was sold to a wealthy NYC widow, Mary Clark Thompson, whose family owned the house until 1992, when it was purchased by its current owner, Richard Hampton Jenrette. Very few changes have been made to the property over the years. The Little Mansion, seen above, was added by the Clark family as a guest house, and Mr. Jenrette added the swimming pool to stave off the South Carolina heat.

Milford Stables
Millford Plantation Stables
Milford Night
Millford Plantation Aglow























And how did a house like this survive the Civil War?  When the Northern troops arrived at the house in the spring of 1865, Governor Manning greeted their commander, General Edward Potter at the door. It is said that Governor Manning commented, “This house was built by a Potter, and will be destroyed by a Potter,” at which point the General replied, ” No you are protected, Nathaniel Potter was my brother.”

SignaturePhotos courtesy of Adventures with Old Houses by Richard Hampton Jenrette. For more information on Millford Plantation, reference Adventures with Old Houses or www.classicalamerican.org

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  • I am a descendant of Nathaniel Potter. My Grandfather, the late Virgil Laverne Potter, before his passing in 1996, completed our family tree. I’m just now finding out about Nathaniel Potter as a builder. I (think) he was my Great-Great-Grandfather.

    Thank you for sharing the photos. I need to make a trip there myself.

    Kenny Cook